Voice Modulation is the process of control and adjustment of voice suiting the requirements of one’s ongoing conversation. It’s the process when you choose to go louder, softer, faster or slower, dramatic or emotional. Voice modulation means using your voice and tone to communicate your message more effectively.
Without proper voice modulation, you would be speaking in a continuous and monotonous pitch or tone. If we see we use voice modulation in our daily conversation as well. But for most of us, the problem is that when we get up in front of an audience, we are smothered by stage fright and thus we don’t use voice modulation as effectively to suit our purpose. Most of the time, our voice strains, we struggle to speak up and we fumble over our words. At these times we can use a little bit of practice to make voice modulation and tonality our strongest tools to improve the quality of our conversation.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TONALITY
Sometimes you may have seen that when you start to speak out you aren’t being effective enough. And you see people being disinterested during your speech though you knew your content well as you had spent a good amount of time researching and writing it with pretty good language and all other tit-bits taken care of.
So then comes the importance of tonality. To be killing on the stage with even mediocre content there are many points to be taken care of like pauses, putting emphasis on certain words, voice modulation, the tone, and mood of the speech.
When we start out speaking on stage we tend to talk in a tonal range and we feel better speaking like that tending to stick to it. But trying to do that we sound monotonous and the audience slowly tune out. These are few tips to incorporate when we are speaking publicly using voice modulation and tonality—
It is the most basic and quickest way to add some range to your speech. You must go through your speech and see which of the words are most important to communicate your message. So pick these words and give them weight in your speech by your voice. If you add a bit of emphasis on the important words it will help the audience understand more easily which words you want them to focus on. It’s one of the go-to techniques you can rely on to improve voice modulation and tonality.
When we go on stage it’s pretty normal to be excited or nervous as the adrenaline is rushing through our veins. We tend to rush through our speech because of this. You should be conscious about your speech and give a few pauses which can greatly improve your speech and it’s impact.
Silence is not given deserving emphasis when it comes to public speaking. But it can be one of your most powerful tools. If you start your speech with a moment of silence or pause after you say something very strong can go a long way in creating the impact you want to be there among your audience. As is said, silence is sure golden and works gold too. Silence is often underused but when used correctly it can be amazingly powerful.
LOUD AND SOFT(VOCAL VARIATION)
The volume of your speech plays a key role in the clarity of your speech and is an easy way to modulate the vocal tones. You need to be loud so that everyone can hear the words being spoken but then we must draw the line between being loud and literally shouting. It’s not very difficult to be loud and clear and with a little bit of practice, it’s easy to speak in a way so that everybody can hear you. But the not-so-easy part of speaking is to modulate the voice between loud and soft. Changing and balancing your volume to match the content is a very important point in communicating the message in the best possible way.
The pace of your message flow is very important. Going slow helps us to be calmer and deliver the content with more clarity. Speaking slowly is not as important as modulating the pace. If you can go fast at some points and slow down at others, it is a sure-shot way to keep your audience engaged.
Voice is a powerful tool to express emotions. You can try and reflect your voice with your emotion for greater impact. If you talk about happiness, success, and positivity you may reflect these words in the way you speak. For eg, if you talk about a sad situation sounding gloomy and upset can help communicate the point even better. Inflection is a very important aspect of voice modulation and tonality. If you speak at a level inflection you will sound dull and monotonous. If you want to speak in a manner that will get you a response from your audience or listener you should use upward inflection which means to end your sentence on a higher note.If you want to state a fact or make a statement that will showcase confidence and certainty end your sentence on a lower note(downward inflection).
TIPS TO IMPROVE TONALITY
These are some easy and quick tips to make your speech modulation exercise better:-
WATER––You should drink plenty of water and take some sips right before you go on stage to help you speak more clearly and make it easier for your voice to modulate. Loss of water makes your vocal cords and larynx dry.
AVOID SLURRING—Slurring is when you start off a sentence strongly but your voice fades off towards the end of the sentence. The audience can hear the first few words but struggle to hear the end of the sentence. To avoid this, practice a little louder than normal and be conscious of your slurring.
PRACTICE WITH MUSIC SPEAKERS—This method can be used to avoid slurring and ensure that you are loud enough.
AUDIO RECORDING—Audio recording yourself is a great way to understand where you are going right or wrong with your tonality. Audio records the first draft of your speech and then listen to it. Make notes of where you can go louder and where softer, where you can go faster/slower, which words to emphasize on and where to add pauses for greater impact.
VOICE MODULATION EXERCISES—These are some voice modulation exercises to help improve your tonality and pitch variation—-
SENTENCE EMPHASIS-To know the importance of tonality and practice it take a sentence and emphasize each different word within that sentence.
HUMMING-Humming helps to warm up the voice and to cool it down after a long performance. You should start with low pitches and moving to higher notes is a good way to test out your range without straining your voice.
LIP TRILL-Take a full breath and let it out as if you were blowing bubbles. Let your lips vibrate as the air moves past them. It helps to coordinate the vocal cords and breath for better voice control. It will help to bring your vocal cords closer to give you a clearer sound.
Mastering the art of voice modulation is one of the keys to become a good public speaker. But learning to use your voice effectively can help in a lot more ways than just in public speaking. If you know when to emphasize words, change your pitch, pace it to suit the listener, use pauses you can use them in your day-to-day life as well to become a better communicator beyond the stage and in the dealings of real life too.